SeaChange International announced a new VOD search and navigation tool, developed with Jinni but optimized for set-top boxes. The guide is also accessible via the Internet and Web-enabled mobile devices.

Guides that only allow viewers to scroll through tables of data are proving inadequate as the number of choices explodes. Guide developers are becoming ever-more sophisticated at evaluating viewers’ preferences so that they can provide active guidance through the increasing volume of content.

Jinni is developing a viewer taste-based recommendation engine it intends to be uniquely responsive to personal entertainment tastes (it is open for beta users).

SeaChange-Jinni guide
SeaChange-Jinni guide

The combination of SeaChange’s middleware and VOD platforms with Jinni’s extensive database of movie and television titles and semantic content tags lets subscribers search for titles based on parameters, such as a film’s or program’s experience (mood and tone) and story (plot elements, structures and style), SeaChange said.

Subscribers will also be able to search their operators’ VOD libraries using Web-enabled PCs and mobile devices: The titles they select for viewing will automatically populate a “favorites” folder that is accessible on their set-top-box-based program guide.

The company said it expects to introduce in early 2010 the Jinni interface running on its TV Navigator middleware platform as part of its three-screen video delivery demonstration.

“VOD libraries are growing at a breakneck pace, and the sheer volume of titles is making it increasingly challenging for subscribers to find the content they want, much less doing so quickly and efficiently,” said Simone Sassoli, vice president and general manager of global telecoms and middleware at SeaChange. “Bringing the power of Jinni’s search and recommendation capabilities to the set-top box with an incredibly rich and easy-to-use interface is a significant development for VOD, and one that can immediately impact usage rates.”

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